I realize that we have not made a new entry in a while. This was for two reasons: 1) Andrew has been home and we have simply had better things to do ;-), 2) Andrew decided during the middle of the past week that neither one of us was allowed on the computer for two days except to briefly check our email twice a day. It seemed that Andrew had had a harder time with it (I caught him on facebook twice on day two). We agreed to make this a regular thing - no computer for two days per week. It felt very liberating I have to say.
So if I am going to pick only one event to blog about tonight, I will choose to write about what we did today and then work my way back through the past week. Andrew is back to work tomorrow, so we made today very much a family day with a bit of an excursion, some fresh air and a nice Sunday meal. We are still getting used to German Sundays - nothing (only gas stations and restaurants are open). That results in everyone panicking and stressing out to get everything done on Saturday, only to sit there with nothing to do on Sunday.
It being almost Remembrance Day, we decided to take a short drive northwest to the Reichswald military cemetery where more than 7,000 allied soldiers lie buried, most of them British.
It was very moving to say the least.
It was divided into two halves: RAF soldiers to the left and army to the right.
Soldiers that had gone down in one airplane were buried together.
The personal inscriptions by family members in the gravestones (made from Portland stone!) were heartbreaking. We hardly found anybody older than 31.
The one soldier's grave who had received the Victoria Cross.
After our visit to the cemetery, during which Sophie was very patient and well-behaved, we had promised her a stop at a small zoo nearby. Not quite the San Francisco Zoo, but these birds could have fit right in there, we thought.
Or how about this pigeon with those fancy feet.
These castle ruins were right next to the zoo in Weeze.
Very impressive deer. It's mating season - not that we saw anything we needed to explain to Sophie. Phew!
Climbing trees with Daddy's help.
A bit lopsided.
By chance we discovered that the German war cemetery for the area was right next to this zoo. We thought we might as well take a look. It was deserted. And somber. What stood out was that most soldiers buried here were a lot older than the Allied soldiers, many of them 45 - 50 years old. The younger ones had already been dead this close to the end of the war. What a waste of lives.
This note was posted on a tree at the cemetery. One of many missing soldiers. Many bodies remained unidentified as the local population did not return to this area until August '45 to "clean up."
While we were out it grew increasingly cooler and grayer. November has finally caught up with us. Brr!
Time for a delicious Sunday dinner: Duck a l'orange. Andrew outdid himself. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the dish. I was quite hungry. But here is one of Sophie eating her dessert. And no, that is not an alcoholic beverage in front of her. Also, please disregard the messy kitchen counter in the background.